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Linda Cauley '74 Heads the Shenandoah Valley Governor's School

Linda CauleyA graduate from the William and Mary class of 1974, Linda Cauley now serves as director for Shenandoah Valley Governor's School (SVGS) in Fishersville, Virginia. She acts as a principal as well as an AP Environmental Science teacher SVGS. The school specializes in math, science, technology, and, more recently, the fine arts.

After graduation, she got her master's degree in botany at Virginia Tech and then lived with her husband in Lesotho and Indonesia doing statistical work for eight years. Upon returning to Virginia, she worked at Lancaster Community College teaching biology and statistics as well as working with gifted students in the summer.

As an award-winning director of SVGS, Ms. Cauley is able to see gifted students from about eight high schools come together for the first half of the day to learn innovative science, math, and technology skills that help them tremendously in their college studies.

At William and Mary, Ms. Cauley was (as are many current William and Mary students) very involved in every part of the college. In biology, she fell in love with botany and spent a summer at VIMS working with zooplankton under Dr. Grant. She especially enjoyed invertebrate zoology, ecology, and her plant identification course but also enjoyed the liberal arts aspect of the school, taking many anthropology and foreign languages classes.

Other than academics, Ms. Cauley was a Kappa Alpha Theta, the secretary of the Student Assembly, a writer for the Flat Hat, and a volunteer for Head Start. Her busy schedule led the dean of women to question her on numerous occasions whether she came to college to study or play, although her extracurricular activities hardly appear to be play! Ms. Cauley has been in charge of SVGS since its opening in 1993. She recently won the 2004 Dawbarn Award for her work in developing an outreach program for at-risk middle school students in the Shenandoah Valley area. She now owns houses in Staunton, Virginia and Bath County, Virginia.

Ms. Cauley now advises many of her students at SVGS (all juniors or seniors) to attend William and Mary, and has about 6-8 students accepted into the college every year.

"I really enjoyed just being in college, and I appreciate the quality of education that I received," said Cauley when asked about her favorite part of college. She said that after attending William and Mary, her work at Virginia Tech was much less stressful for her than it was for other students, "It was easy for me to write in a variety of genres because I had been writing ten-page papers for so long at William and Mary."

Her most memorable professor was Dr. Marty Mathes, the professor who pushed her to go to graduate school despite a comparatively low GPA. Thankfully, she didn't pick up Professor Mathes' habit of bad puns!